1 of 3 | Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., blasted President Joe Biden’s decision Monday to keep the headquarters of U.S. Space Command in Colorado, after rejecting former President Donald Trump’s plan to move it to Alabama, saying “this is absolutely not over.” File Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo
July 31 (UPI) -- Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., blasted President Joe Biden's decision Monday to keep the headquarters of U.S. Space Command in Colorado, after rejecting former President Donald Trump's plan to move it to Alabama, saying "this is absolutely not over."
According to a senior U.S. official, Biden decided against relocating the headquarters -- which oversee the military's operations of space assets, including the defense of satellites -- to Huntsville on the advice of the head of Space Command Gen. James Dickinson, who said Colorado would be fully operational next month and that moving it now could jeopardize military readiness
"Today, following a thorough and deliberate evaluation process, and after consultation with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and weighing the input of senior military leaders, President Biden notified the Department of Defense that he has selected Colorado Springs as the permanent location of the U.S. Space Command Headquarters," Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement.
Tuberville and other Republicans were quick to condemn what they call Biden's "politically motivated" decision, claiming it goes against the Air Force's choice of Redstone in Alabama as the preferred basing location.
"As soon as Joe Biden took office, he paused movement on that decision and inserted politics into what had been a fair and objective competition," Tuberville said Monday, "not because the facts had changed, but because the political party of the sitting president had changed."
Tuberville and other Republicans, who pointed out that the Biden administration waited until Congress was in recess to announce the decision, claim Alabama's restrictive abortion laws played a role. Tuberville also emphasized that the top three choices for Space Command headquarters in the Pentagon site selection process were all in red states, specifically Alabama, Nebraska and Texas.
"Colorado didn't even come close," Tuberville said. "This decision to bypass the three most qualified sites looks like blatant patronage politics and it sets a dangerous precedent that military bases are now to be used as rewards for political supporters rather than for our security."
Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., also called Biden's decision "partisan politics," as she called Huntsville the Defense Department's first choice with Colorado coming in at number five.
"President Biden is now trying to hand the Gold Medal to the fifth-place finisher. The president's blatant prioritization of partisan political considerations at the expense of our national security, military modernization and force readiness is a disservice and a dishonor to his oath of office as our nation's Commander-in-Chief," Britt said.
Following Monday's announcement, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall -- who had recently recommended that the headquarters be moved to Alabama -- said he planned to "fully support" Biden's decision.
"The Department of the Air Force will now work expeditiously to implement the decision," Kendall promised.
"This is absolutely not over," Tuberville said in a statement. "I will continue to fight this as long as it takes to bring Space Command to where it would be best served -- Huntsville, Alabama."